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The Chicago Tribune reports that McDonald’s is rolling out a new program called “Moms’ Quality Correspondents,” which is giving a half-dozen mothers behind the scenes access to the company’s restaurants and supply chain and an online forum on which they can blog about what they hear and see. The move, according to the Tribune, “is another step in a public-relations offensive launched a year ago to combat a barrage of criticism that paints the world's largest restaurant chain as a key contributor to the nation's growing obesity dilemma.”

According to the story, “McDonald's has equipped six mothers with laptop computers to record their impressions of its operations over the next few months. The moms were chosen by an independent company from a group of 4,000 applicants, and the blogs and journals will be posted ‘unedited’ beginning June 20 on McDonald's home page, where it hopes to attract other moms interested in seeing the comments, officials said last week.”

There is, of course, the risk that the women will say uncomplimentary things about the fast feeder’s operations, and since McDonald’s has promised them complete editorial autonomy, this could become problematic. But the company clearly has confidence that the rewards outweigh the risks.
KC's View:
Editorial autonomy, huh?

We didn’t even that on the last website we worked for, so it is a little hard to believe that McDonald’s doesn’t have a “just in case” editing mechanism in place.

That said, we think this is a good idea, and one that ought to be imitated by more food retailers. The more you can get customers invested in the experience and the brand, the better.